What Is Really Troubling The Pope?
A very unlikely messenger in religious matters stirred up an old religious question last week: Leah Rabin took it upon herself to pay homage to the head of the Catholic Church, the pope. She did not reveal to anyone what she tried to accomplish, other than perhaps focus publicity on herself after her unfortunate Madison Square Garden appearance. That appearance had falsely been labeled a unity manifestation with members of the Likud to be present. The trouble was that none of these opposition members was either present or even invited. Part of the program was taken up by rap and rock’n’roll musicians; the Kel Mole was recited not by a cantor but by a pop singer, etc., etc.
Be that as it may, Mrs. Rabin showed up in Rome and alighted from a 15-minute audience with the pope. She made the following astounding announcement: "The pope acknowledged Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, as well the ‘capital’ of three world religions." She added that it was apparent that this was the first time that the pope accepted Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital. In view of the Vatican’s hostility to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, this statement was to say the least, astounding.
This miracle statement was just that -- a "one-day wonder"; for the very next day came a denial from the Vatican "The position of the Vatican on Jerusalem remains unchanged."
For decades the Vatican refused to recognize even the existence of Israel. Various reasons were given, for example, that Israel did not yet have "recognized borders," while in reality the Vatican maintains diplomatic ties with other countries without "recognized borders." Next, the reason was given that the Arabs would object and that this might hurt the Christians in Moslem lands.
The Vatican waited until the anti-religious Labor Party took over the government before it began to deal with Israel. Sensing that such a secular government would have only minimal Jewish concerns about the blood-drenched history of genocide and persecution of Jews by the Church, the Vatican correctly assumed that such a government would agree To terms that would suit the Church. For example, all attempts to include in the treaty between the Vatican and Israel the prohibition against missionary activities were firmly Struck down by the Beilin team negotiators. No attempt was made by the Labor government to get recognition of Jerusalem as the Jewish capital. The widely expressed Jewish concern that the Vatican return to the Jewish people the few hundred Hebrew manuscripts that survived the Church’s 600 years of Jewish books burnings was also omitted from the treaty.
Still, the Vatican has recognized Israel, which is a good thing. Why then, does it refuse to recognize Jerusalem as the Jewish capital?
The answer: this is not a political question. It is an existential religious question for Christianity. The Gospels have taught them that Judaism is replaced by Christianity, that Jews have lost their claim to Jerusalem and must remain the eternal "wanderers" of this earth. Jerusalem is no longer on earth, but strictly in heaven -- the Christian heaven, that is. This is how the Gospels express it: "Then let them which are in Jerusalem flee to the mountains, and let them that are in the midst of it depart out, and let none of them that are in the countries enter there into ... and shall be led away into all nations and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:20-24).
In other words, the very basis of Christianity is that Jews are banned from Jerusalem and must remain wanderers among The nations of the Gentiles. If this prediction should be proven wrong, and instead the Jews would in fact return to Jerusalem, the whole basis of Christianity would crumble and Christianity would be proven wrong!
That is the reason why the Church, so vehemently mobilizes the world’s opposition whenever the question of recognizing Jerusalem as the Jewish capital comes up.
Only two weeks ago the United Nations voted 128 to 1 to deny the Jewish right to Jerusalem. Could such a lopsided vote have taken place unless the Church lobbied with all its power against the vote? And the leftist Labor government must have done almost nothing to save the vote for the Jewish people. Again, the Vatican assessed correctly the anti-religious slant of the Labor government. What a shame that Labor missed such a chance to support the Jewish claim to Jerusalem!
For Leah Rabin to misunderstand the Jerusalem-Vatican problem shows that she herself is unaware of the religious implications involved.
From time to time I have quoted from the Intelligence Digest -- the report of the prestigious, 58-year-old British think tank. This think tank cannot be maligned for being either right-wing Jewish or extremist Orthodox. Here is the Digest’s latest assessment of Prime Minister Shimon Peres:
A witch-hunt in Israel against anyone "inciting against the legal government and the peace process" is in full swing ... The new prime minister, Shimon Peres, is cashing in on this fear and offering further concessions to Syrian President Hafez Assad in a bid to gain a peace agreement with Syria.
The record of the Clinton administration with its "peace" agreements has not been very good. Somalia ended in a disaster. Haiti threatens to unravel. North Korea never materialized. The PLO agreements, Oslo I and II, have all been broken and violated by Arafat. The recent Bosnian peace agreement begins on very shaky grounds.
And now, Syria-Israel. Under Peres, Israel is in a "free Fall" -- no red lines, no conditions, no principles, only offers of concessions and more concessions. No amount of brainwashing of American Jews to make them cheer for such a "peace process" can eliminate the frightening realities the Jewish people face. Israelis are mounting massive protests against a give-away of the Golan Heights. The promised referendum on the Golan must take place before, not after, the initialing or signing of a "peace" agreement. This will be a real test of the majority’s resolve to salvage the Jewish State from total disintegration!
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